I’ve lived in Albuquerque for just over 30 years. When I drive around my city, I can reflect on the parts that bring me the fondest memories. And now that I have a child of my own, I am able to share some of those places and memories with him.
There’s a park near the mall on the East side of town where my grandfather used to take me. My mom has albums full of memories, many of which were made at this park. When I was a girl, there was a sort of monkey bars sculpted into the shape of a giraffe. I hadn’t really thought about that park in years. My grandfather passed away when I was eight, and I had no reason to visit the park afterward since I lived in another part of the city. Last spring, almost exactly a year ago, Tucker was invited to a friend’s party and it just so happened to be at that very park.
Of course I have passed by this park, now and again, through the years. I noted at some point the giraffe seemed to have been removed or relocated. I never stopped to look until the day of that party.
It was there. Tucked back in the corner of the park, off the main road. Set aside like some monument to my childhood. Before joining the party, I let Tucker climb that giraffe.